AMPed (Autonomously Mastered Purposeful education) Program

Last November I got this email:

“Hello SIS Colleagues, 

We are excited to begin our AMPed curriculum in Grade 1 and we would love your help. Starting in Trimester 2, we are looking to offer our Grade 1 students a variety of learning and exploring opportunities on Day 3s, from 1:20-2:00 pm. 

We would like to offer a “Career AMPed” project where the students have the chance to shadow members of our community and see what it is like to do the many jobs that make SIS the fantastic place it is. You would sign up for just 1 session, just 40 minutes with a small group of students (10 or less) that will spur thoughts, questions, connections, and insight into the minds of our young students as they see and experience what it is like to be…you.

The Grade 1 team feels that you would have wonderful guidance, skills, and enthusiasm to share with the students in this alternative learning setting. Would you be willing to work with a group of Grade 1 students for one block on one Day 3? We will ask one TA to come with the students to help you.

Please let us know if you are interested and available to participate in our AMPED projects on a Day 3 in Trimester 2. 

We’re really looking forward to this dive into exploring new ideas and learning with Grade 1!

#funnerthanrecess”

…And so I decided to help and be part of the project…

So what is AMPed? Click here to learn more about it

Later in the year, I was assigned a group of Grade 1 learners who came to learn about Physical Education. Since I was in the dance unit, I asked them if they would like to help me teach a dance class to kindergarten students.

I showed them how I planned the lessons, how I assessed the students using rubrics, the vocabulary we were going to be looking at during the lesson, and then everyone got a job to help with. Some of the first graders were in charge of the warm up, others of the music for the dance, others picked a child to assess following the rubric I gave them.

After the class, the Career AMPed, as they called them, reflected on their learning as “PE teachers” by sharing what they enjoyed doing and what they thought it was hard as a physical education teacher.

I thought it was a great experience for them, as well as for me as a facilitator of their learning.IMG_0951IMG_0970IMG_0978

We like to Move: Creative Dance Unit

We wrapped up our creative dance unit last week.

It was incredible to see how much improvement happened in a few weeks. Students learned how to move their bodies to the beat of the song. They were able to count the beat till 8 ( slow) or 16 ( fast) and based on that create all sort of movements and dances.

The SPAH turned out to be a very happy place for everyone just dancing and being active.

Students learned different elements in dance such as SPACE, ENERGY, TIME and BODY, and based on those elements they created their own dances.

We created a bulletin board to help them understand better all the new vocabulary words they were learning. You can see a picture below.

Then, we had students getting in small groups and creating their own dances with a very basic structure:

Every dance would have to have:

Beginning with a static movement repeated 8 times

Main part. Where students had to create 4 different movements ( each movement repeated 8 times) In this case we had students thinking of SPACE, levels, directions, pathways and shapes, ENERGY, and BODY, different parts of their body should be involved in the dance.

Ending with a static movement repeated 8 times

We used this structure for our upper elementary grades.

In second grade, students invented 4 movements dance with a partner. We really stressed the idea that every student had to create/invent a movement.

Kindergarteners and first graders moved their bodies graciously when we played the music. They were not afraid of expressing themselves throw different dances.

It was a truly wonderful experience for all learners.

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